Not as in military terms, however, it may seem like it to some. Basic training exercises are not glorious nor a whole lot a fun, but they are the basis of becoming HUGE! When we say “basic” we don’t actually mean “basic”, perhaps a more effective term would be “base” training. Before you can become the huge bodybuilder you want to be, you must build a great foundation. The amount of time this takes is determined by (1) genetics (2) discipline (3) diet and (4) consistency, in that order. How fast you get there is of no importance at all! We don’t mean basic movements either. Of course the bench press, squat, and rows are great exercises and are the basis of all the others, but if you want to get huge you have to have a little variety.
The basic muscle groups are:
Back – You need a thick wide back. Muscles include the latissimus dorsi (lats), spinal erectors.
Shoulders – Size. everyone wants big shoulders. There are three heads on the deltoid muscle the front, the rear, and the side. Shoulders includes the Trapezius (traps).
Chest – This includes the upper and lower pecs. This a favorite area of training for most people.
Biceps – You will need long full bicep muscles.
Triceps – You will need to developed this one very well! It has three heads hence the “tri”. These are the most important for big arms.
Forearms – Flexors and extensors.
Quadriceps and Glutes – A must for hardcore bodybuilders. Without big legs and a rear end, you will look terrible.
Hamstrings – Very important for big legs.
Abdominals – This includes all of the abs and obliques. They need to be seen.
Calves – They need to be shaped well. Muscles included: gastrocnemius, soleus, and tibialis.
Learn specific exercises for each muscle group here. A good way to begin is to jump right in to a 6 day per week program. The truly dedicated get up and workout even when their job takes its toll on them. This may mean getting up at 5am or working out at 8pm. Whatever works for you. I personally like the mornings much better because I am much more rested, besides, you should never be able to sleep right after your workout. Your workout should be about 1 hour and 30 minutes long.
Do abs everyday – (bummer huh) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Chest, Tri’s and Shoulders Back and Bi’s Legs Chest, Tri’s
Shoulders Back and Bi’s Legs
When you are first starting to build your foundation, it can take a long time. You must be patient and expect the muscle to come. Always use good form even though it may seem harder, your gains will be much better. Even if you are in the gym 6 days a week and working hard, it still could still take 3-6-9 months before you see any real weight and strength gains. But believe me, there is no better motivation than seeing yourself change.
During this period, you will need to maintain a “Get Big” diet and get plenty of R&R (rest and recuperation). It is important to take some time (maybe a week) off after about 6 months of working out consistently. This break is great because it gives your muscles time to heal and grow. My best days ever lifting are after a week break.
You may experience a “plateau” after doing the same routine and workouts for a long time. A plateau is when you are kind of stuck at a certain weight and can’t seem to get over it. This is a great time to either take your week break (if you haven’t already) or to change your routine a bit. A good example of changing your routine is instead of doing flat bench, incline bench, and dumbbell flys for your chest workout, do seated press, incline flys, and pullovers. I know this isn’t a drastic change but it should “shock” your muscles enough to start growing again. Shocking your muscles this way is the first step in becoming an advanced bodybuilder. I like to change my routine every 4-6 weeks anyway.
When you have put on some 15-20 lbs of good quality muscle and you have a great foundation of muscle built up, you are ready to move on to the advanced training area.